Money & Business

Small Business Group: Biz Owners Pessimistic About Tax Reform

By / Apr 13, 2017 (iStock/Thinkstock)

A new survey from the National Small Business Association suggests that many small-business owners don’t expect comprehensive tax reform to happen anytime in the near future—if at all.

Tax reform is near the top of the agenda for the Trump administration and Congress, but the issue is giving small businesses a bit of heartache.

That’s according to new findings from the National Small Business Association (NSBA), which released its 2017 Small Business Taxation Survey [PDF] this week. It found that business officials are unsure about whether legislators can get the job done, considering recent setbacks in Congress.

“Today, we have the first real chance for broad tax reform in a generation,” NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken said in a news release. “However, the overwhelming majority of small businesses believe congressional failures—partisanship and a lack of effort—are the biggest challenge facing reform, and one-third don’t believe tax reform will ever be enacted.”

NSBA surveyed 950 small-business owners nationally. More than half (58 percent) said they faced administrative burdens regarding their taxes, roughly two-thirds (67 percent) spent more than $1,000 annually managing their taxes, and more than three-quarters (84 percent) said they were forced to pay for outside assistance in managing their taxes.

The taxes that cause the greatest administrative burden are income taxes, payroll taxes, state/local taxes, and sales tax, the study found. The greatest financial burden came from income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate taxes, and state/local taxes. While cost is clearly a factor, respondents were more likely to describe administrative burdens (58 percent) as the biggest problem, compared to costs (38 percent).

What do small-business owners think is holding back tax reform? Simply, they put the blame on the government—whether due to a divided government (49 percent) or a lack of effort or support from Congress (24 percent).

Nearly a third of respondents (32 percent) think comprehensive tax reform will never happen, while more than a quarter (26 percent) are unsure of when it might happen.

“The lack of confidence in Congress’ ability to tackle broad tax reform is underscored by the fact that the majority of small businesses believe tax reform will never be enacted or are simply unsure,” the report states.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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